The first time I saw an ocean was the summer before we moved from Pueblo, Colorado to California. We were trekking west to see my new grandparents and decide if we would make the big move. We made the drive in 2.5 days and had 4 days to check out the lay of the land.
My first real ocean view was Ocean Beach in San Francisco. I loved it. Of course in typical tourist fashion, we rolled up our pants and took off our shoes and socks and went wading. n knee deep water, when the wave was receding from the beach it felt like the ocean was making a serious effort to pull me out to sea.That's when I got my first real sense of the power of the ocean. I knew I was a strong swimmer but it made me nervous as hell just the same. Plus, it was summer and the water was frigid.
Ocean Beach SF Surf Cam. The surf is treacherous and as I said, the water is frigid. Plus, there is a great white shark breeding ground nearby, just outside the Golden Gate Bridge.
Mt next view of the Pacific Ocean was Half Moon Bay - a fairly typical state beach .It was a fun place with some great restaurants. The water was still frigid but at least we were further away from those pesky sharks.
We continued south down Highway 1 to Santa Cruz , which rapidly became my favorite ocean spot. I wonder why. Must have been that roller coaster - The Big Dipper and the Mad Mouse. Funnily enough I remember neither the water temperature or the distance to the great white breeding grounds. Must have been that bumper car ride.
A little furthersouth was the last stop on our ocean/beach tour, Monterey. The thing I liked best about the entire highway 1 trip was the ruggedness of the coast. There were normal beach places but th e coastline is basically rugged - and gorgeous.
My dad insisted we take the boa1t tour of Monterey Bay. When looking out to the bay and seeing nothing but whitecaps, I was not really interested but alas my 8y-year old vote was quickly smashed by those cruel parent types. If the Santa Cruz roller coaster had been on the water it would have only been half as scary as that darn boatride.Of course I asked if there were shatks on the bay. You bet said the cheshire cat-ike ggrinning captain. It just dawned on me that perhaps Mr Speilberg was also a passenger on the trip as I am sure I said something like "We need a bigger boat". The boat captain and my dad had a great time - me not so much. My Mom was somewhat neutral, perhaps fearing for the sanity of her firstborn child.
That day in Monterey ended my first exposure to the Pacific Ocean. I even stopped thinking about that boatride when we stopped at the Giant Artichoke Restaurant and I go-t myfirst taste of deep-fried artichoke hearts. It is true - everything is better fried.
The trip was a rousing success. The next summer we packed up our 1957 Dodge Cornet, loaded UHAUL trailer and headed off on the new life adventure in a land called California.
Besure to check Ramana's Musings to check on Ramana's first encounter with an ocean.